The city of St. Louis has long been known as a baseball town with a drinking problem. For those who are not as big of baseball fans as the rest of us, they call it a drinking town with a baseball problem.
Well, after being treated to a free VIP Tour (for 10 people) of the Schlafly Tap Room by their Event and Tour Manager, Jeffrey Brodzinski, I felt it was only right to write a blog post on my experience. If you’re in a time crunch and cannot read this post in its entirety, I will sum it up in three sentences: It was truly a top-class tour by a top-class, locally-owned company. Our tour guide, Chris, was one of the best tour guides I have ever had. He brought humor into the tour, but he made sure to not overdo it.
History of Schlafly
Schlafly was founded in December of 1991–making it a pretty young company considering it is one year younger than me. However, after InBev’s purchasing of Anheuser-Busch, Schlafly is the largest locally-owned brewery. It currently has two locations–the Tap Room downtown and Bottleworks in Maplewood, Missouri. Our amazing tour guide, Chris, informed us that they were looking to expand to a third location in the near future as well.
Schlafly probably wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company. Co-founder, Tom Schlafly, did not realize how much beer St. Louisans actually drank. Because of this, they ran out of their beer just a few weeks after opening. They contacted Boulevard who allowed them to sell their beer while they brewed more of their own beer. What appears to be a small gesture by another locally-owned brewery turned out to be an integral factor in the longevity of Schlafly.
The Tap Room Experience
Well, that’s enough about history. If I told you all of it, there wouldn’t be a need for you to go on your own tour which would be counter-productive. If tours aren’t necessarily your thing, then I recommend you stopping by the Tap Room for lunch or dinner sometime in the near future. Sure, you can buy many Schlafly products at your local grocery or liquor store, but to be honest, these barely scratch the surface. They have 16 beers on tap at the Tap Room, and the vast majority are exclusively available at the restaurant itself.
Want a full list of what’s available? Here’s a link including all 16 beers with descriptions for each. My favorites include Hefeweizen, Oak Aged Barleywine, and Sour Blond Ale.
The brewing process involved in making Sour Blond Ale is actually quite interesting, and a whole room (the old boiler room of the building) is dedicated to making it. It involves injecting strands of bacteria into the beer as it ages (pictured above right)–resulting in a very tart flavor. Sour Blond Ale is not for everyone, so I would recommend sampling it before ordering a glass. To me, it tastes like Warheads, one of my favorite candies as a child, so of course I really like it.
There you have it, a quick but thoughtful blog post on the Schlafly Brewing Company. They have free guided tours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 5 PM. If you like beer or would like to support a local business, I strongly suggest you to attend one of these in the near future. They have one of the nicest staffs in town–dedicated to making your experience as awesome as possible. After the tour, stick around for a bite to eat and/or taste one of their exclusive craft beers on tap. You won’t regret it.
Want to know more about Schlafly? Check out their website: www.schlafly.com
You can also find them on Twitter: @Schlafly
I realize that many of you probably made New Years resolutions to eat and drink healthier in 2014, but treat yourself one day by checking out one of Schafly’s two locations for yourself.
Until next time…
- Schlafly Coffee Stout (365brew.com)